With Ashcraft & Gerel’s Talc litigation history and hard-earned knowledge, why are we not supportive of LTL Management’s announced second bankruptcy and claimed “settlement”?
As widely reported in the press, LTL Management, the newly created subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson filed for a second bankruptcy before the Honorable Judge Michael Kaplan, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.N.J.). This filing occurred shortly after the dismissal of the first LTL bankruptcy action pending in the same court.
With this extraordinary and unprecedented second bankruptcy filing, Johnson & Johnson immediately headlined a settlement represented to be worth over 8.9 billion dollars to resolve all talc liabilities. This proposed deal includes all present and future ovarian and mesothelioma cancer claims, and state attorney general claims. None of the MDL leadership firms support this proposal and have expressed their objection publicly. What is being represented is a proposed deal contrived by a few plaintiffs’ firms purporting leadership involvement. The MDL leadership is not involved.
We at Ashcraft & Gerel, LLP decry in the strongest terms the recent developments and must set the facts straight.
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Ashcraft & Gerel has been involved in ten-plus years of working on every facet of the J&J talc case from investigation, corporate discovery, expert science and trial of these cases. Our partner, Michelle Parfitt, is co-lead of the Federal Talc litigation MDL. A litigation with over 38,000 cases filed.
Ashcraft and Gerel lawyers, Michelle, Jim Green, and Patrick Lyons have served on science, discovery, law, and legal briefing committees of the MDL. Our firm’s clients have been selected to serve as talc committee creditor representatives on the talc bankruptcy committees in both LTL and IMERYS talc bankruptcies.
So, ask yourself, with our history, hard-earned knowledge, and reputations, why are we not supportive of LTL’s position and the related press releases we have all seen flooding the news since yesterday afternoon?
Simple. There is no settlement. There is only a new bankruptcy filing!
Indeed, found within the thousands of pages of LTL bankruptcy filing the offered settlement could happen only after a bankruptcy plan was approved by a vote of at least 75% of the current Talc claimants and then a further approval of all aspects of any plan by the bankruptcy court. The amount for settlement would be paid over 25 years!
Finally, Johnson & Johnson (LTL) has already sought and received a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) essentially staying further litigation activity and now seeks an injunction to prevent talc lawsuits to proceed into the future and once again being held hostage in the bankruptcy court.
We must oppose these tactics and we will. Time is precious and dear to the women and their families who are suffering and dying of ovarian cancer. They should not and can not be pawns in the hands of Johnson & Johnson companies who are responsible and need to be accountable for their actions.
FACT: There is no settlement. There is only a new second bankruptcy filing.